It is not clear what turned her thoughts to the small Su olk village of U ord, not a part of the country she seems to have known particularly well. But perhaps this was the point. She had probably rst seen the village while visiting her cousin Margaret Grant (neé Beaumont) at nearby Melton Grange.2 Mary’s sensitive pride had occasionally made her sarcastic about the Beaumonts, but she was on good enough terms with her cousin to take a young Stella Benson to the Grange a year or two later (it was a less than successful visit, and Stella noted acerbically that the Grants were very vain about their garden).3 U ord itself was certainly picturesque, as well as continuing the familiar traditions of Hodnet, with its own library, Girls Friendly Society, Women’s Institute and mothers’ meetings, as well as a parish magazine featuring short stories, local news and advertisements for safety matches and Pear’s Soap. In May Mary was writing excitedly to Matthew Nathan, now in Natal, ‘I am camping out in a perfect little cottage which I am thinking of taking if it suits my coquettish lungs, which wont inhale every air’.4